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Alcohol Abuse Affects Marriages and Parental Rights

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Parental Rights

alcohol, DuPage County family law attorneyMany marriages are gravely damaged or even destroyed by substance use every year. Addiction to drugs and alcohol puts additional stress on a relationship, builds resentment between spouses, execrates financial hardship, and can sometimes contribute to infidelity.

Troubling Numbers Regarding Drinking and Divorce

A study published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs gives numerical data to this correlation.  Researchers from the University of Michigan studied more than 17,100 individuals in order to compare divorce rates involving people with a serious alcohol-use problem and with that of those that did not. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the divorce rate of those couples which included an alcoholic spouse was higher than the divorce rate of those couples which did not report an issue with alcohol. Specifically, 48.3 percent of individuals with an alcohol-use problem were divorced at some point in their lives while only 30 percent of individuals without an alcohol-use disorder were ever divorced.

Possible Indications of Alcohol Addiction

There are many warning signs that an individual may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.  People who have a problem with drinking may exhibit a variety of concerning behaviors including:

  • “Blacking out” or having foggy memories of an event after over-consuming alcohol;
  • Hiding alcohol or drinking in secret;
  • Drinking at inappropriate times of the day or before or during work or school;
  • Drinking and driving or getting into legal trouble because of drinking;
  • Neglecting personal, household, or family responsibilities; and
  • Experiencing problems at work and having trouble keeping a job.

An Ongoing Problem

Alcohol use may continue to be a factor for some couples, even long after a couple has already split and the divorce has been finalized. Habitual problems with alcohol consumption by you or your former spouse can affect your rights regarding your parental responsibilities (child custody) and parenting time (visitation). Judges can impose limitations or restrictions regarding how much time a parent can spend unsupervised with their child if the alcohol use presents a serious danger to the child. Even if alcoholism was not a factor in the marriage ending, an alcohol problem that develops later can still lead to complications with your parental rights.

Work With a Compassionate Lawyer

If you are trapped in a marriage with an alcoholic spouse or your child’s other parent is exhibiting signs of an alcohol problem, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your child. Call 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation today.


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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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